In the years after the Soviet Union imploded, the United States was described first as the globeâs âlone superpower,â then as a âreluctant sheriff,â next as the âindispensable nation,â and now, in the wake of 9/11, as a âNew Rome.â Here, Chalmers Johnson thoroughly explores the new militarism that is transforming America and compelling its people to pick up the burden of empire.
Reminding us of the classic warnings against militarismâfrom George Washingtonâs farewell address to Dwight Eisenhowerâs denunciation of the military-industrial complexâJohnson uncovers its roots deep in our past. Turning to the present, he maps Americaâs expanding empire of military bases and the vast web of services that supports them. He offers a vivid look at the new caste of professional warriors who have infiltrated multiple branches of government, who classify as âsecretâ everything they do, and for whom the manipulation of the military budget is of vital interest.
Among Johnsonâs provocative conclusions is that American militarism is putting an end to the age of globalization and bankrupting the United States, even as it creates the conditions for a new century of virulent blowback. The Sorrows of Empire suggests that the former American republic has already crossed its Rubiconâwith the Pentagon leading the way.
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